About the book:
“Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich…”
Thus began Jane Austen’s classic, a light and lively tale set in an English village two hundred years ago. Yet every era has its share of Emmas: young women trying to find themselves in their own corners of the world. I Could Write a Book is the story of a self-proclaimed modern woman: Emma Katherine Woodhouse, a 1970s co-ed whose life is pleasant, ordered, and predictable if a bit confining.
Her friend George Knightley is a man of the world who has come home to fulfill his destiny: run his father’s thriving law practice and oversee the sprawling Donwell Farms, his family legacy in Central Kentucky horse country. Since childhood, George’s and Emma’s lives have meshed and separated time and again. But now they’re adults with grown-up challenges and obligations. As Emma orchestrates life in quaint Highbury, George becomes less amused with her antics and struggles with a growing attraction to the young woman she’s become.
Rich with humor, poignancy, and the camaraderie of life in a small, Southern town, I Could Write a Book is a coming-of-age romance with side helpings of self-discovery, friendship, and finding true love in the most unlikely places.
My Quick Thoughts by Christina Boyd:
Austen said she was going to write Emma as a character that only she might like. But I think you will come to adore Emma as I have through Karen M Cox’s modernized interpretation. It really translates well to 20th century. And her Emma, who ends up getting an undergrad degree in psychology, seems to gain just enough education in the program to think she knows people… But just like in Austen’s masterpiece, boy, does she get it wrong.
Despite all Emma's faults, I believe Cox has written a contemporary Emma that you not only will like but maybe even understand her actions better.
Some have compared Emma as the female Darcy. Never have I seen that clearer than in Cox's I Could Write a Book. And her Mr Knightley... Swoonworthy. Set in the 1970s and the horse country of Kentucky, this novel is a smart, emotive, and thoughtful interpretation of Austen's masterpiece. I hope readers will give this non-Pride & Prejudice novel a chance. I LOVED IT!
*Full disclosure: I edited this in 2017. It’s still one of my all-time favorites.
I also enjoyed the audiobook, narrated by Emily Rahm. Great pacing. Wonderful regional voices without making the accents a caricature. A most enjoyable performance. Easy to recommend.
About the author:
Karen M Cox is an award-winning author of five full-length novels: 1932, Find Wonder in All Things, I Could Write a Book, Undeceived, and Son of a Preacher Man. She also contributed short stories to several anthologies, including The Darcy Monologues, Dangerous to Know: Jane Austen’s Rakes and Gentlemen Rogues, Rational Creatures, and Elizabeth: Obstinate, Headstrong Girl.
Karen was born in Everett WA, which was the result of coming into the world as the daughter of a United States Air Force Officer. She had a nomadic childhood, with stints in North Dakota, Tennessee, and New York State before finally settling in her family’s home state of Kentucky at the age of eleven. She lives in a quiet town with her husband, where she works as a pediatric speech pathologist, encourages her children, and spoils her granddaughter.
Channeling Jane Austen’s Emma, Karen has let a plethora of interests lead her to begin many hobbies and projects she doesn’t quite finish, but she aspires to be a great reader and an excellent walker—like Elizabeth Bennet.